Sniff Movie Review: Promises to be profound, ends up being non-impactful

Directed By: Amole Gupte
Produced By: Trinity Pictures
Cast: Khushmeet Gill
Duration: 1 hours 29 mins
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 

As I walked into Amol Gupte’s latest directorial venture, I thought back of what a powerful storytelling ‘Taare Zameen Par’ had chronicled. Not many would know, Gupte being the film’s creative director had major inputs behind the screenplay. Further, his ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’ remains one arresting story for children; vibrant, dynamic and content with exuberant vibes. Shift to ‘Sniff’, and it will be a let-down for sure. This one looks like a film that stayed with him for a long time, but came out half-baked.

The film is about Sunny Gill, a little boy, perfectly healthy but unable to smell. The kid has an interesting family. A grandmom who invents yummy recipes, a dad who makes delicious achaar (pickle) and a sister who is secretly dating. And oh, also a late mother who is now a large photo on the wall but keeps changing her expressions! The family has tried to cure him in every way possible. Imagine your senses dumbing themselves down when you are unable to get any single alluring (or even weird) smell in life! The same happens to Sunny. But life often sets twists for us on the way. Following an accidental event that we won’t give away, Sunny gets back his smelling power and ends being a little detective!

Now, that sounds both amusing and too easy at the same time. Gupte tries his best to kindle the spirit of childhood and make ‘Sniff’ look like an adventure film for children. But the reality is, things flow with over-adequate convenience. Hence, it appears as less of a thriller and more of a miracle. The first half is more about Sunny coping with his shortcoming, while the second half has him turning the centre of everyone’s attraction and affection. How convincing it that, though? It is an orthodox outlook that children’s film could run short on logics and still be sold. There are serious gaps of events that are difficult to be overlooked. At the same time, ‘Sniff’ banks on many occurrences which are unlikely in reality. Cinematic liberty was probably taken too seriously here.

However, efforts must be applauded. Gupte always had the right eyes for the right children, and this one is no exception. Khushmeet Gill, as the protagonist, is a perfect choice. He plays his character with apt innocence and emotional quotient. So is another child actor Adil, who plays Sunny’s only affectionate friend. Actors are good enough, just we wish they had more to do.

Even production-wise, ‘Sniff’ is a well-shot film. We loved the food shots especially, not kidding! They have major influence of culinary photography, and it turns out to be beautiful. Further, it is decently edited and features situational music. The film, although, doesn’t reach anywhere as an effective story, despite promising to be a profound one.